Sunday, March 10, 2013

'Oz The Great and Powerful' Opens to $150.2 Million Worldwide

Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” (rated PG) is magic with theatre goers despite some critics less than wonderful reviews. Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff; directed by Sam Raimi ('Spider-Man,' 'Drag Me to Hell').  I highly recommend it.

From Coming Soon:
"Walt Disney Pictures' Oz The Great and Powerful brought new life to a slow 2013 box office so far, earning an estimated $80.3 million domestically and $69.9 million internationally for a worldwide total of $150.2 million. The Sam Raimi-directed film marks the third-biggest domestic March release ever, trailing only the debuts of The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million)."
Disney jumps into the 'Oz' genre with this prequel, inspired by L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's novel 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.' The prequel imagines the origins of the famous wizard character - a man named Oscar Zoroaster Diggs (actor James Franco), a 2nd rate circus magician with few scruples, and his abrupt entrance into the vibrant, yet troubled land of Oz. He soon encounters 3 witches (played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams) dubious of his mysterious 'great and powerful' status.

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From the Parents Television Council:
"OZ is above all a triumph of production design. Mirroring the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (which it humorously and lovingly homages), OZ the Great and Powerful begins in Kansas in black-and-white, shifting to brilliant color once in the Land of Oz, which is portrayed as a wondrous, magic-filled place of beauty. In addition to such comedy and delightful characters as talking monkeys and singing Munchkins, OZ also contains deeper themes of both corruption and redemption – showing how individual’s choices and relationships can cause some to find their way to bettering themselves, and others to fall into evil.

Because of its positive story themes, magical sense of adventure, and magnificent production values, the Parents Television Council is proud to award OZ the Great and Powerful with the PTC Seal of ApprovalTM. The PTC recommends this film for viewers over age seven."

However, a  NY Times review called it 'dispiriting, infuriating jumble of big money, small ideas and ugly visuals,' yet USA Today proclaimed it 'visually stunning' and 'powerfully entertaining.' Go figure.
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